Tessa Masterson Will Go To Prom
At first glance, "Tessa Masterson Will Go To Prom" appears to be brought to us by the "90210" writers who thought up the brilliant, "Donna Martin graduates!" The title is cliché but the story is not. Snarky similarities aside, writers Brendan Halpin and Emily Franklin deliver an LGBT fairytale loaded with believable teenage courage likely to make the most hardened of hearts melt.
Tessa and Lucas are teenage best friends discovering themselves in the Midwest. Tessa finds herself liking other girls; Lucas finds himself in love with Tessa. After publicly asking Tessa to Prom with an equally public refusal, Lucas makes the mistake of outing Tessa to their ultra-conservative community. All hell breaks loose. Tessa is made a pariah in her school for wanting to take a female date to the hyper-hetero function (and then a martyr of the LGBTQ community). Lucas falls out of love with Tessa and attempts to reverse the damage he did to their friendship.... all to the tunes of the Lady Gaga-inspired pop sensation, Miss Kaboom.
"Tessa Masterson Will Go To Prom" is a fine example of inspirational young adult literature. Halpin and Franklin write Tessa as a polite, slightly clueless yet endearing lesbian who just wants to have a night out with the date of her choice: normal teenage fare. Her town reacts with vitriol, accusing her of selfishness and Satanism - a response blown out of proportion by Tea Party activists and local churches. To her benefit, Tessa’s family unconditionally supports her right to attend Prom. They defend her against the masses and see her to saccharine victory. Halpin and Franklin force Tessa to come out during a turbulent time in conservative America. They do not allow her to be a victim, rather, they write her a strong young woman with the conviction to fight for fair treatment.
Tessa does go to Prom. She does get to bring the date of her choosing. This fairytale ends happily ever after for everyone, even the Conservatives.
"Tessa Masterson Will Go To Prom"
Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin
Walker & Company
by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin